Road safety pilot project launched in Khayelitsha
16 September 2021
An innovative pilot project to protect South African children on the roads while walking to and from school has been launched at Sobambisana Primary School in Khayelitsha.
The Walking Safely to School (WATCH) project is a multi-stakeholder project funded by the FIA Foundation, with ChildSafe as the lead implementing partner.
The project involves road infrastructure modifications and default 30km/h speed limits in school zones to protect learners on the route to and from school, combined with road safety training, education and awareness for children, teachers and the broader Khayelitsha community.
Five primary schools, namely Ummangaliso Primary, Sobambisana Primary, Sakumlandela Primary, Ntwasahlobo Primary and Ikhusi Primary, and one high school, Usasazo High School, have been selected for the 24-month first phase of the WATCH project. The six schools are situated along or close to Bangiso Drive in Khayelitsha.
The provincial Department of Transport and Public Works will be providing Junior Traffic Training Centers (JTCCs) at each of the participating primary schools. JTTCs are child-friendly traffic training facilities to teach primary school learners about road safety in a play environment, without exposing them to the dangers of real traffic situations.
Professor Sebastian van As, former ChildSafe Chair, said the project was desperately needed to protect our school children. “We are suffering from a lack of basic but essential road safety. The kids walking to and from school each day are exposed to fast moving traffic. All too often we see the tragic results in the Trauma Unit of the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. This project has great potential to prevent injuries and save lives. Together with our partners we look forward to taking forward this vital work for the Decade of Action for Road Safety.”
Saul Billingsley, Executive Director of the FIA Foundation, said the FIA Foundation was pleased to work with ChildSafe to protect children walking to and from school. “This project will demonstrate the life-saving potential of low-speed interventions, and we hope it will galvanise policymakers in Western Cape and across South Africa to reduce traffic speeds and invest in safer roads for their children.”